Monday, January 23, 2017
President Trump Needs to Pick His Social Media Battles
There is much that is unique about the Trump presidency even before considering any policies, programs, or laws which may be enacted.
Trump is the very first U.S. President who does not have any prior American military or governmental service on his resume. He has spent decades managing his family business well, growing it into one of the largest and most successful private institutions in the land.
Also, as we found out in the Republican primaries, President Trump has an affinity for social media. In particular, the President made use of his private Twitter account to take his message directly to the voters during the primaries.
After emerging victorious from a large, qualified field of candidates, Trump continued engaging his millions of followers on Twitter during the General Election campaign.
His upset defeat of the Democratic candidate, former First Lady, U.S. Senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, was fueled partially by his social media engagement with voters.
Trump used Twitter to take his message directly to the people.
In doing so, he bypassed the traditional candidate reliance on the established mass media in television, radio, and print. Much of that media was clearly pro-Clinton, anti-Trump, or both throughout the campaign.
By the use of social media, Trump was able to transmit his message in his words. In this way there could be no misinterpretation or failure to highlight the points which he felt were of greatest import.
Trump also was able to specifically point out media errors, or what appeared at times to be intentional attempts to undermine his candidacy.
In his use of social media, the now-President Trump found a valuable tool. He was the first presidential candidate to truly embrace the medium and use it to his advantage. And he did so in often colorful style and language that is a hallmark of the man.
Upon his swearing-in, the President took over the official Twitter handle of the office @POTUS (President of the United States), while also continuing use of his private @realDonaldTrump account.
In the 3-4 days since taking the Oval Office, the President has utilized both accounts regularly. A clear pattern is beginning to emerge.
When using the "POTUS" handle, the President is clearly more reserved. He uses pictures of events and chooses his wording carefully.
When switching over to his "Donald Trump" account, however, the old bluster is still present. He has criticized protest marchers and celebrities who opposed his administration. He also commented on television ratings of his Inauguration festivities and address.
I understand why the President chooses to use social media. He genuinely feels, and I happen to agree with him, that much of the former "mainstream media" (MSM) is dishonest. They are genuinely "in the bag" for liberal causes and the Democratic party here in the United States.
Trump obviously intends to "act presidential" within the confines of the POTUS account, while continuing to lambaste his critics and detractors with his private account. All of this is being done in an effort to set, or keep, the record straight.
I just think that the President needs to pick his battles better. He does not need to comment on every issue that arises. He needs to understand that he won the election, he has the office and the power, and he has tens of millions of Americans standing behind him.
None of his supporters cares what some celebrity such as Madonna has to say about anyone or anything. None care at all if there were more bodies who stood outside watching a Barrack Obama Inauguration speech eight years ago than watched President Trump deliver his. None of us cares in the least if a bunch of liberals donned pink cat-ear hats and marched through city streets.
The President does not need to concern himself with how many people are attending events or watching on television. He is going to get plenty of viewership and coverage just by virtue of his office, as well as due to his celebrity status.
The office itself comes with many perks, one of which is a Press Secretary. The administration appears to be in good hands in that regard, if the performance of Sean Spicer in today's initial White House press briefing was any indication.
Let Spicer deal with issues involving the media. The country has so many more important things for the President to be concerned about. Sure, once in awhile put out something on social media of a personal nature. But leave the tit-for-tat stuff to underlings.
Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Tens of millions of Americans voted for him, and support him right now based on the promises that he made in running for that office.
I want him to get up out of the mud pit within social media where he has been battling his opponents. Perhaps he needed to be down fighting in that pit for a time. But that time has passed.